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Why HR needs to shed its Toby Flenderson1 Image ?
1
Image Credits - http://iworkattheoffice.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/to...
Remember Toby Wyatt Flenderson, the HR Manager on the U.S. comedy television series, “The
Office” ?
Toby represents the ar...
We as HR leaders have to figure out how to meet the future needs of business and lead
organizational change not wait to be...
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Why HR needs to shed its Toby Flenderson image?

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Why HR needs to shed its Toby Flenderson image?

  1. 1. Why HR needs to shed its Toby Flenderson1 Image ? 1 Image Credits - http://iworkattheoffice.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/toby.jpg
  2. 2. Remember Toby Wyatt Flenderson, the HR Manager on the U.S. comedy television series, “The Office” ? Toby represents the archetypal Human Resource Manager: soft-spoken, easy to be with and generally of good disposition who seems to spend most of his time telling people what not to do. In the increasingly VUCA times we find ourselves in, is this the type of image we want associated with the HR profession? Absolutely Not Is the profession today then at a crossroads? Absolutely Yes HR Futurist, Jay Jamrog couldn’t have put this more succinctly when he said “Human Resources is crippled with educated incapacity” In views drawn from my own experience & following the footprints of some great HR practitioners , this has more to do with the challenges that beset the HR profession today and how the function is still caught between its evolving role from an arbiter of Human Relations to one of managing the resource supply chain. The rapidly changing business environment necessitates that HR grow out of its "soft touch" mode prone to providing 'sugar and honey' solutions and instead get more business aligned, financially oriented & accountable to provide greater business value. The real value of HR comes not from its role as an internal people operations team but more from its role in Talent Management. This value creation must happen in concert with the CEO of the organization. When we think of it “Talent Management” is a business process, not an HR process – and if the key architects of the corporate topography don’t “own it”, it cannot be forced down. The 'license" from the top can be a big enabler for HR to live up to its true reputation of a Strategic Partner. Another challenge that confronts HR is the 'difficulty of aligning HR Strategy to business strategy, as business strategy has a dynamic character and it is difficult to tweak a compensation strategy or performance management program to keep up'. The scenario necessitates that HR professionals operate out of a set of principles and personal values. It requires stepping up to the issues that are centric to the organization bottom line and not get too bogged down with administrivia, which is seeing an increasing trend of being outsourced. The job of HR is not about being a 'do- gooder' but more about attracting the best and brightest people and raising the value of the enterprise It is unfortunate that HR is one of the overhead functions that gets downsized when times get tough, either through a reduction in its budgets or by reducing its staff. All administrative support functions are increasingly coming under pressure to demonstrate their value & HR today needs to take some radical steps that will improve and impact the credibility of the function if it has to be seen as a corporate leader that can influence senior management regarding the importance of people issues. It must respond by becoming more financially oriented and accountable focusing on outcomes and less on the activity subset.
  3. 3. We as HR leaders have to figure out how to meet the future needs of business and lead organizational change not wait to be told, when and how. The vagaries of the economic scene today make it implicit for HR to acquire a new set of tools and skills. The 'new' HR professional must be strong in business and finance (metrics driven), have a strong technology background and be a risk taker. While HR professionals generally are adept at relationship building, they need to become more business –centric today. Some possible changes to the HR function in the near future would include:  Greater focus on metrics and return on investment methodologies  Reduction in focus on generalist HR roles to more specialist roles covering recruitments, assessments, learning & development, analytics  Increased focus on people productivity, performance metrics and coaching  Transaction roles, activities within HR domain to be increasingly outsourced Yes HR is and will remain a people centric business but its future promise to provide competitive advantage would lie more at the intersection of people with business, process, technology and organizational strategy.

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